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FIRST, THERE WERE SHEEP
Friday's opening ceremony at Olympic Stadium kicked off with a set that depicted an idyllic English countryside, complete with children playing in meadows, thatched homes – and sheep. A top-hatted Sir Kenneth Branagh then entered, reciting Caliban's speech from William Shakespeare's The Tempest.
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NEW BOND GIRL: THE QUEEN
The monarch left viewers awestruck when she appeared in a skit alongside James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) himself. But when she appeared to jump out of a helicopter and parachute into the stadium, her stoic face assured everyone it was just a stuntman.
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BECKHAM'S ON A BOAT
One of the final ushers of the Olympic flame, a dashing David Beckham shepherded the iconic torch to the stadium on a speedboat up the River Thames, with fireworks set off behind him along Tower Bridge.
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PUTTING A RING ON IT
In a piece showcasing Britain's evolution through the industrial revolution, an Olympic ring was depicted being forged in a steel mill before slowly rising up, uniting with four other rings above the crowd, then showering down pyrotechnics.
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HOSPITAL BEDS & TRAMPOLINES
Paying tribute to the National Health Service, one of Britain's beloved institutions, a group of nurses pushed around hospital beds that doubled as trampolines for the children leaping on them, a nod to the Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, which is associated with Peter Pan.
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MARY POPPINS VS. VOLDEMORT
Further celebrating children's literature, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling recited from Peter Pan until being interrupted by a gaggle of famous villains from children's books, including her own creation Lord Voldemort. Lucky for Olympic attendees, the uprising was put down when a parade of Mary Poppinses appeared, suspended from the ceiling by their umbrellas.
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WELCOME BACK, MR. BEAN
Rowan Atkinson reprised his beloved Mr. Bean character for a performance of the Chariots of Fire theme, accompanying the London Symphony Orchestra on keyboard. Halfway through, boredom got the best of him and, in a dream sequence, the actor imagined himself starring in the 1981 film's opening scene, struggling to keep up with the runners.
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A JET-PACK ROCKOUT
Part of a decades-spanning celebration of Britain's contributions to the music industry, three men powered by jet packs lifted off and soared high above the crowd as David Bowie's "Starman" scored their flight.
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ENTER: FLYING MONKEYS
Things took an especially eerie turn during English indie rock band Arctic Monkeys's performance, as men with glowing wings rode in on bikes, circled the stadium and even took to the sky.
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IT'S A BEATLES WORLD
Following the lighting of the Olympic cauldron, music legend Sir Paul McCartney took the stage and united the more than 200 countries represented in the stadium with a sing-along of the Beatles classic "Hey Jude."